Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Before I Became A Mom

Before I became a mom, I wanted an elective c-section

The roots of my vaginal birth aversion came from a nursing school experience. Essentially, I watched a mom during her last minutes of labor and then through delivery of a healthy baby. Basically I had my eyes peeled to her vag from pulsating --> to ring of fire --> to baby out. To other's it was a beautiful moment, to a 20 year old female student with children nowhere in the near forecast, everything about the experience was ghastly. The only thing that turned the tide was discovering I was pregnant, and clarity set in.

Before I became a mom, I was set on exercising every day throughout my pregnancy, eating right, and gaining only the minimum amount of weight (25lbs)

Well I walked a lot. I tried swimming for a couple of weeks and eventually went shopping instead to fulfill my daily cardio requirements. I ate like I always ate, except that Coke tasted ever.so.good that I even bought a case or two or three for the first time in my life. I have to admit that that was officially my pregnancy craving, as today I would drink it more so for the fact that it feels good going down my throat than me loving how it tastes.  I gained 40ish pounds in the end.

Before I became a mom, I thought breastfeeding was easy; like stick the mouth to your nipple easy.

Breastfeeding was initially a struggle because I didn't really understand the concept of feed baby + brain = body makes milk accordingly. I definitely had struggles with engorgement (those "breast rocks" were more uncomfortable than my vag stitches), deciding whether to continue to pump or just exclusively breastfeed (for number 2, im going to do BOTH!), dry cracked nipples that hurt like a biatch with each latch (I LOVE YOU, lanolin), fears of 'nipple confusion' from too much googling. Who knew breastfeeding can go sideways in so many ways?! Max breastfed until 18 months when he decided he wanted to stop, im still kinda bummed about it but also happy that I went that far.

Before I became a mom, I thought my kid would have a short sleep adjustment period but eventually take after me and sleep like a pro ...never even heard of 'sleep training' issues.

I dont know how many times i've written or mentioned sleep on this blog but Max is no pro. At 21 months he still wakes up once a night and we still move in and sleep with him. For naps, he's good with sleeping about 2 hours on average with a soother that pops in and out. Ah well, i've taken this as a no big deal thing now because im totally used to the lack of thorough, uninterrupted sleep and actually enjoy co-sleeping with him. i am wondering though if we have another child how i'm going to repeat this or would I (??) to begin with because what would be the other kid's room has no space for the ever-so-convenient twin bed that allowed for the many interventions to get Max to sleep. hmmm...

Before I became a mom, I thought i'd be a minimalist and have a couple of toys, a few clothes, and the bare minimum in baby gear.

Well we definitely aren't minimalist as we've enjoyed the convenience of 'stuff' that has made first time parenting just a little easier (seriously, is a diaper genie really essential? no. but we have one anyways). Kid's clothes are SO CUTE. I love buying them, but I don't go nuts or spend too much as I have insight on how fast these kids grow. Plus, you get so many clothes as gifts  that you don't even need to buy at times...we've been blessed! As for toys, i'm thankful for the toys Max has been gifted, and also thankful for craigslist.

Before I became a mom, I thought I could hand my kid off to a baby sitter or my parents so I can do things for myself (ie. go to a concert), guilt free.

Aside from work, the longest i've been away from Max to do something for myself was 2-3 hours. I think we were going to a concert? or a dinner with friends? as evidenced by my poor memory, this was a LONG TIME AGO. I do remember looking at my phone of pictures of Max and telling Gene that I missed my baby. I think I even kind of rushed exiting the whole event so I can get back to Max. Today, I still kind of feel this way. if i did need to do something for myself, i have no qualms with leaving Max with Gene...but I dont really like giving him away to my parents so I can do extra curricular activities. he's never slept over at anyone else's house without us, he's either always with both of us or one of us (if i'm working on the weekend though, Gene get's his little break by letting my parents have him for 2-3 hours, but I think he misses him too as it never overlaps into Max's nap time).

Before I became a mom, I thought I had all the time in the world to do what i wanted to do , the kid will just adapt.

Today, activities are scheduled with and or around meal times, nap times, poo times, and bed time in mind. I can still do activities I like to do, but if I can help it, i prefer to stay within our +/- 30-45 minute established schedule for Max's well being. kids thrive off of structure and some predictability right? his quality of life is paramount, and directly affects my quality of life too. he sleeps well, i sleep well..YES!! win-win!!

Before I became a mom, I thought my kid would just go with the flow.

I wanted to get a haircut and I asked my sister to just push Max in the stroller around the mall for 20 minutes or so (he was sleeping anyways). From the second (I mean this literally) I departed, I was told Max woke up and screamed and cried the entire time I was getting a haircut. I could hear a baby cry from the hair dresser's seat and I would see my sister's reflection in the mirror- pacing nervously in front of the entrance checking if I was done the entire time. I think she's still traumatized, hahaha!

Before I became a mom, I thought I was pretty happy.

Then I had my baby. And despite the crying, the sleep deprivation, the tantrums, the unpredictability, the job that is never-ending/24-7/365 days a year, motherhood has brought a whole new meaning to life- it's just so much more meaningful. i've said this so.many.times on this blog, motherhood is the hardest thing i've ever done in my life, but it is also the most fulfilling, rewarding, my greatest accomplishment.

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